College of Arts and Sciences

Ancient Studies

Distinguished Lecturer Series

The Distinguished Lecturer Series seeks to provide a venue for faculty and students working on various areas of antiquity to explore common interests. The Program normally invites two major scholars a year whose interests cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. The scholars are chosen by a formal nomination process from the faculty. For the process, each nomination shall be a co-nomination by faculty members from at least two different departments. The lectures are of broad interest to students and faculty members. Each visitor will present a public lecture and meet with interested students and faculty during his or her visit.

Distinguished Lecturers (2017-2018 academic year)

Fall 2017

Barry Strauss
Cornell University
Topic: Julius Caesar and the Genius of Leadership

Julius Caesar was one of the greatest leaders in history. Starting from a lesser position in the Roman nobility, he took on Rome’s establishment and became the republic’s first dictator for life. Along the way he reached his country’s highest political office, in part by his appeal to ordinary people, in part by his oratorical genius and in part by his cunning. He next excelled in the military field. He led an army that first conquered what is now France and Belgium and then defeated the forces of the republic. He also wrote two books about his wars that remain literary classics to this day. Caesar was the most controversial figure of his day. At the peak of his power his life ended disastrously, with him assassinated at the hands of fellow Roman nobles in the senate house on the Ides of March 44 B.C. Yet he left behind an heir who cemented his political legacy. The Caesars changed the course of history. Caesar’s life is rich in lessons, both positive and negative, for today’s leaders – whether in politics or business, public life or private. Barry Strauss, Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies at Cornell, is an internationally recognized expert on Caesar who has written two books on the subject. He also writes frequently on leadership.

Date and Time: September 14, 4-6 p.m.
Location: Fine Arts building, Room 102

Spring 2018

Emma Dench
Harvard University
February 15, time TBA
Location: TBA
Topic: TBA

Past Distinguished Lecturers:

  • Adrienne Mayor (Stanford)
  • Greg Woolf (Institute of Classical Studies)
  • Oliver Taplin (Oxford)
  • Shane Buttler (Johns Hopkins)
  • Willeke Wendrich (UCLA)
  • William Harris (Columbia)
  • Richard Talbert (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • Dale Kinney (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Susan E. Alcock (University of Michigan)
  • Shadi Bartsch (University of Chicago)
  • Mary T. Boatwright (Duke)
  • Glen W. Bowersock (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)
  • Alan Cameron (Columbia)
  • John Dillon (Trinity College, Dublin)
  • Katherine Dunbabin (McMaster)
  • Robin Lane Fox (Oxford)
  • Christopher Gill (University of Exeter, UK)
  • Maud Gleason (Berkeley)
  • Fritz Graf (Ohio State University)
  • A. A. Long (Berkeley)
  • Joseph Manning (Yale)
  • Ian Morris (Stanford)
  • Josiah Ober (Stanford University)
  • James Porter (California, Irvine)
  • Richard Saller (Standford)
  • Brent Shaw (Princeton)
  • Lawrence Stager (Harvard
  • Raymond Van Dam (Michigan)
  • Heinrich von Staden (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton)